Imperial College London

Dr James A Bull

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Chemistry

Reader in Synthetic Chemistry



+44 (0)20 7594 5811j.bull Website




501bMolecular Sciences Research HubWhite City Campus





Dr James A Bull is a Royal Society University Research Fellow and Reader in Synthetic Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry.

Dr Bull’s research focuses on the development of efficient synthetic and catalytic methods to access novel structural motifs and heterocycles of interest in drug discovery.


James is awarded the 2021 AstraZeneca Prize for Synthetic Chemistry, as covered in this Chemistry World article.

PhD positions: 

We are offering funded projects through the REact CDT for Oct 2023 (funding limited to UK students):

For group news, see: @jamesabull and

Biographical details

James Bull graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2001 with a First Class Honours MSci degree in Natural Sciences, Chemistry and the Raphael Prize for Organic Chemistry. He then spent a year working at GlaxoSmithKline Stevenage as a Research Scientist in the Medicinal Chemistry Department.

He returned to Cambridge in 2003 to undertake PhD research with Professor Steven V Ley. He completed the total synthesis of bisoxazole antifungal natural product bengazole A and analogues.

In 2007 he joined the group of Professor André B. Charette as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Université de Montréal, Canada. Here he developed an intramolecular Simmons-Smith cyclopropanation reaction.

In 2009 he began independent research at Imperial College London as a Ramsay Memorial Research Fellow (2009-2011), working in the laboratories of Professor Alan Armstrong. From 2011 to 2015 Dr Bull held an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship on "Novel strategies to access chiral heterocycles as potential lead compounds in drug discovery". In January 2016 Dr Bull started a Royal Society University Research Fellowship.



Briggs E, Ma TK, Zhong Z, et al., 2023, Synthesis of Enantioenriched NH-Sulfoximines by NH Transfer to Sulfoxides Using Ammonium Carbamate and (Diacetoxyiodo)benzene, Organic Syntheses, ISSN:0078-6209

Dubois M, Rojas J, Broderick H, et al., 2023, Visible Light Photoredox-Catalyzed Decarboxylative Alkylation of 3-Aryl-Oxetanes and Azetidines via Benzylic Tertiary Radicals and Implications of Benzylic Radical Stability, Journal of Organic Chemistry, ISSN:0022-3263

Rojas JJ, Bull J, 2023, 4-Membered Ring Carbocations: A Positive Development in the Synthesis of 3,3-Disubstituted Oxetanes and Azetidines, Chimia, ISSN:2673-2424

Bull J, 2023, Synthesis of aza-S(VI) motifs, Phosphorus Sulfur and Silicon and the Related Elements, ISSN:1042-6507, Pages:1-7

Tota A, Spennacchio M, Briggs E, et al., 2023, Synthesis of NH-sulfoximines from sulfides using ammonium carbamate and (Diacetoxyiodo)benzene to transfer NH and O, Organic Syntheses, Vol:100, ISSN:0078-6209, Pages:48-60

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